Peeta Kway The Foam-woman
Source: The Myth Of Hiawatha
AN OTTOWA LEGEND.
There once lived a woman called Monedo Kway on the sand mountains
called "the Sleeping Bear," of Lake Michigan, who had a daughter as
beautiful as she was modest and discreet. Everybody spoke of the beauty
of this daughter. She was so handsome that her mother feared she would
be carried off, and to prevent it she put her in a box on the lake,
which was tied by a long string to a stake on the shore. Every morning
the mother pulled the box ashore, and combed her daughter's long,
shining hair, gave her food, and then put her out again on the lake.
One day a handsome young man chanced to come to the spot at the moment
she was receiving her morning's attentions from her mother. He was
struck with her beauty, and immediately went home and told his feelings
to his uncle, who was a great chief and a powerful magician. "My
nephew," replied the old man, "go to the mother's lodge, and sit down
in a modest manner, without saying a word. You need not ask her the
question. But whatever you think she will understand, and what she
thinks in answer you will also understand." The young man did so. He
sat down, with his head dropped in a thoughtful manner, without
uttering a word. He then thought, "I wish she would give me her
daughter." Very soon he understood the mother's thoughts in reply.
"Give you my daughter?" thought she; "you! No, indeed, my daughter
shall never marry you." The young man went away and reported the
result to his uncle. "Woman without good sense;" said he, "who is she
keeping her daughter for? Does she think she will marry the
Mudjikewis? Proud heart! we will try her magic skill, and see
whether she can withstand our power." The pride and haughtiness of the
mother was talked of by the spirits living on that part of the lake.
They met together and determined to exert their power in humbling her.
For this purpose they resolved to raise a great storm on the lake. The
water began to toss and roar, and the tempest became so severe, that
the string broke, and the box floated off through the straits down Lake
Huron, and struck against the sandy shores at its outlet. The place
where it struck was near the lodge of a superannuated old spirit called
Ishkwon Daimeka, or the keeper of the gate of the lakes. He opened the
box and let out the beautiful daughter, took her into his lodge, and
When the mother found that her daughter had been blown off by the
storm, she raised very loud cries and lamented exceedingly. This she
continued to do for a long time, and would not be comforted. At length,
after two or three years, the spirits had pity on her, and determined
to raise another storm and bring her back. It was even a greater storm
than the first; and when it began to wash away the ground and encroach
on the lodge of Ishkwon Daimeka, she leaped into the box, and the waves
carried her back to the very spot of her mother's lodge on the shore.
Monedo Equa was overjoyed; but when she opened the box, she found that
her daughter's beauty had almost all departed. However, she loved her
still because she was her daughter, and now thought of the young man
who had made her the offer of marriage. She sent a formal message to
him, but he had altered his mind, for he knew that she had been the
wife of another: "I marry your daughter?" said he; "your daughter!
No, indeed! I shall never marry her."
The storm that brought her back was so strong and powerful, that it
tore away a large part of the shore of the lake, and swept off Ishkwon
Daimeka's lodge, the fragments of which, lodging in the straits, formed
those beautiful islands which are scattered in the St. Clair and
Detroit rivers. The old man himself was drowned, and his bones are
buried under them. They heard him singing his songs of lamentation as
he was driven off on a portion of his lodge; as if he had been called
to testify his bravery and sing his war song at the stake.
I ride the waters like the winds;
No storms can blench my heart.
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